Wireshark, the world's foremost network protocol analyzer, is well known for its powerful decoding abilities (more than 500 protocols) and its multi-platform support.
As a network analyst, I used to analyze performance and keep my network monitored with Wireshark; it helped me a lot with network management, security analysis and protocol learning.
However, when I shared my experience and recommend it to my friends who worked as network administrators or security analysts, the technicail requirements scared some of them. Thus, they can not benifit from it and the network analysis technique. What a pity!
Now things have turned around, as several days ago one of my friends called me happily wanting me to have a look at a GUI network analyzer: Capsa free.
Similar to Wireshark, it is totally free for personal users and small business owner.
"While Wireshark is regarded as the pioneer of the free network analyzer, Capsa is considered as the great combination of Wireshark and Polit, strong capturing ability plus powerful analyzing and reporting abilities."
"Capsa Free is a great combination of powerful monitoring, in-depth packet decoding, reliable network diagnosing, real-time alerting and thorough reporting ability, it provides you innovative solutions to numerous network problems."
Compared with Wireshark, Capsa free has a more friendly Windows 7 style, it provides more visibility as to the status of your network, and it is an simple graphic network analyzer. There no need to worry about those command, you can do everything by clicking the mouse.
Is Capsa free really the terminator of Wireshark? The answer is NO. Although both of them are free, there are some differences between them.
Capsa free can decode more than 300 protocols while Wireshark can support more than 500 protocols, especially the wireless and VOIP packets only can be decoded by Wireshark at now.
According to the manual, Capsa free is a windows based network analyzer, it can not be migrated to other platforms in a very short time, considering the security issue, most of the company servers are running *nix system.
We can use them at the same time indeed, they are not the substitute of each other.With the powerful capturing and decoding ability, we can use Wireshark to capture the packets and traffic of our network, then analyze it with Casa free, it is more visual and friendly,right?
Well, I would like to see that we have more options, especially it is totally free, althoug free not always mean good.:)
In case you wan to review them, I have attached the link below: